Studying at TCC
You must meet certain requirements before you can register for classes, and while you're taking classes at TCC.
Do I need anything before I register for classes?
Before you register for classes, you must submit your degree plan and take any required placement tests.
Submit Your Degree Plan
All F1 students must submit an official degree plan when they arrive at TCC prior to registering for courses in their first term. Failure to submit an official degree plan or declare a major may cause immigration status problems, and will make completing your degree harder.
International students attending college on a visa have an obligation to move forward with their degree plan every semester. You can review your academic progress at any time by making an appointment with a career advisor. We can also help ensure you are placed in the correct courses.
- See our Catalog for degree plans at TCC.
Take Your Placement Test
All students must take a placement test before registering for their first classes. Contact us to determine whether, when and how you must take the test.
How many classes/hours must I take?
You must enroll in at least 12 credit hours each term as an F1 international student. Failure to maintain full-time enrollment without prior approval is a violation of your F1 status.
In order to maintain full-time status, you must complete at least 12 credit hours each semester with a performance grade (A, B, C, etc.). 'W', 'I', and other markings are not performance grades. Failure to finish the 12 credit hours with performance grades will violate your full-time student status.
If you arrive in fall or spring, you are not required to enroll in summer courses. If your first term of study is the summer semester, you must enroll in at least 6 credit hours for the first summer session that runs from May to late June/early July. You are not required to enroll in the second summer session, which starts from early July to August, as it is optional.
Exceptions to the Full-Time Rule
You may enroll for fewer than 12 credit hours if you are:
- Entering your last term of study before graduation, and need fewer than 12 hours to
complete degree requirements;
- Prevented from attending class by illness or a medical condition, documented by a licensed medical professional.
Each situation is reviewed confidentially and on a case-by-case basis.
How do I register for classes?
Some students are eligible to register by themselves, but some students need our help to register. Ask us if you don't know which group you are in.
Most of the time, students who have taken classes already, and who have passed TSI standards, can register by themselves. You may only register for courses on your submitted TCC degree plan. Learn more about the steps for registering for classes.
Can I take classes online?
Yes, but you are limited to one distance learning class that is not more than 3 credit hours per semester. The rest of your classes must be at least 9 credit hours on-campus, which includes labs.
The only exception is the summer term: If summer is not your first semester of study at TCC, then summer enrollment is option. In that case, you can enroll in as many online summer courses as you want.
Can I drop a class?
Yes, as long as you still maintain at least 12 credit hours in the semester.
What if I'm having trouble with my classes during the semester?
If you're having issues with grades, don't know if you can pass a class, or are told that you are on probation, talk to us immediately. The sooner you ask, the better we can help.
What do I do when I'm ready to graduate?
Learn more about graduation and how it affects your visa status.
What if I don't complete my degree on time?
I-20s are issued for two years, but if you need more time to complete your degree, you can apply for an extension. Since TCC degrees can be completed in less than two years, extensions are granted in special circumstances. Learn more about how to extend your I-20.
Updated January 20, 2023